Halvdan Koht

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Koht, Halvdan


Born July 7, 1873, in Tromsø; died Dec. 12, 1965, in Oslo. Norwegian historian and politicial figure.

A philologist by education, Koht was professor at the University of Oslo from 1910 to 1935, chairman of the Norwegian Historical Society from 1912 to 1927 and from 1932 to 1936, president of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences from 1923 to 1939, and president of the International Committee on the Historical Sciences from 1926 to 1933. Although Koht’s research covers the history of Norway from the origin of the Norwegian state to the 20th century, his most significant works are on medieval history.

As a young scholar, Koht was greatly influenced by Marxism. He developed an original conception of Norway’s historic development, showing that it had been a feudal society; he thus undermined the official theory, according to which Norway’s historical fate has been unique. Koht joined the Norwegian Labor Party in 1915 and later joined its centrist majority. He was a deputy in the Storting from 1929 to 1937. Koht was minister of foreign affairs from March 1935 to February 1941 and lived in exile in London from 1940 to 1945. After the war he withdrew from politics.


Norsk bondereising. Oslo, 1926.
Historikar i lære. Oslo, 1951.
På leit etter liner i historia. Oslo, 1953.
Frå norsk midalder. Bergen, 1959.
Drivmakter i historia. Bergen, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
On April 6 1940, only three days prior to the German invasion, Foreign Minister Halvdan Koht summarized the number of violations of Norwegian Air Space: forty-four British; twenty-one German; and at least six Soviet.
Solness, as Bernard Shaw pointed out in reviewing The Master Builder, is "daimonic, not sham daimonic like Molvik in The Wild Duck, but really daimonic, with luck, a star, and mystic 'helpers and servers' who find the way through the maze of life for him." (15) Moreover, Solness is a direct reflection of Ibsen himself: the playwright acknowledged, as Halvdan Koht notes, that this play "contained more of his own self than any other." (16)
Halvdan Koht points out in his biography of Ibsen, "there means something like 'the storm-goer'.
Through the agency of the Norwegian minister of foreign affairs, Halvdan Koht, Vogel finally received new travel papers, and on January 27, 1937, he left Tromso for London in order to travel from there to South Africa.
Herman Jaeger, Didrik Amp Seip, Halvdan Koht and Einar Hoigard, published by Steenske Publishers, 1918-1940.
Later the prime minister Johan Nygardsvold, the foreign minister Halvdan Koht and the British ambassador Sir Cecil Dormer discussed how to bring this exodus to a safe conclusion.
(3.) Halvdan Koht writes in the postscript to Posen's En folkefiende (An Enemy of the People) that Ibsen thus described himself in the tradition of Ludvig Holberg (Koht, 1978: 101).
(11) See Halvdan Koht, 'A Specific Sense of the Word patria in Norse and Norman Latin', Archivum Latinitatis Medii Aevi, 2 (1926), 93-96: Francesco Arnaldi, 'Ancora sul significato di patria', and C.
Popular scholarly opinion often concludes that the most important and lasting impact of this international experience was Ibsen's encounter with Hermann Hettner's book Das moderne Drama, about which Halvdan Koht in The Life of Ibsen, for example, enthusiastically states, "nothing else held Ibsen's interest as did this declaration of a program by Hettner" (Ewbank 60).
Halvdan Koht's biography from 1928-29 creates a contrast with Gran's biography.